Tuesday, November 8, 2011

You're Welcome, Georgia

A few weeks ago I had the wonderful privilege of packing up our kiddos and heading north to visit my sister.  She lives in Tacoma and has the cutest little life set-up, or so I think...

I had really good intentions of blogging about our trip, but life got busy and I sort of missed my window. However, Jess hasn't let up and I keep getting pester-y texts or FB messages saying things like: "Pictures from my house? Blog?"

She's oh-so-subtle...

(Picture courtesy of Jess Harvey Photography)

You see, my sister and I have this wonderful relationship. We absolutely adore one another, and we drive each other CRAZY! I'm sure there is some sort of birth-order/sibling dynamic/personality-trait explanation behind this, but it just is, what it is...

At any given moment I can make a little comment that would absolutely tick her off, and likewise, she could subtly mention something I could do differently and I would want her to leave the room... for a long time. 

I will say, however, with her, ahem, I mean our,  maturation, if you will, our annoyed moments have gotten much fewer and farther between and our love and respect for one another has grown even more!

Jess just spent the last 4 years of her life at the liberty of the United States Army and with her new found freedom has come an adorable little condo in downtown Tacoma and a job as a prison nurse, and although it wasn't her first choice in location or job, it was a job and it is just a hop-skip- and a jump away from home

Her heart's desire, however, was to move back to Georgia where she spent almost a year during her stint in the Army.  She applied for jobs in Seattle and in Georgia and waited hoping to have a clear direction as to where to go.  Meanwhile, we all prayed Georgia would fall through and she'd be trapped on the west coast where she would magically find a prince charming and never desire to move any farther away from her family again. The end. 

I was certain our prayers had been answered when she finally accepted the job at Pierce County and put a deposit down on her new place! Aw! How perfect!

As I'm sure you're sensing, this story turns bad, which is what has been on my heart for the last two weeks.  Jess took a lovely trip to Georgia to visit her "friends" and called home instantly to announce that she felt like she was at home again... Really? Hot, sticky, humid Georgia? Okay, so I've never been there, but still...

I listened to Jess' heart pour out as she continued to enjoy her vacation and fall in love with the south all over again, but all the while my heart was crying.  You see, my fear isn't that she'll move to Georgia, my fear is that Georgia will become her family and with that we'll see less and less of our precious sister, auntie, and daughter.  Holidays are expensive to fly home for and vacation time is hard to come by meaning three visits a year will become two and two visits one...

I've tried to put on a happy face and listen as she ecstatically tells me about all of the doors that have been opening up as she prepares to journey across the country, while deep inside I keep thinking, "do you know what this means"?

It hit me though, this morning, I was spending time with God and rocking a sleeping baby and I realized just how selfish my heart was.  Yesterday, I was e-mailing a friend back about a prayer request as she had shared some of the desires of her heart and I reminded her that even though it's hard to remember, the coolest thing is to think that as awesome as our plans may seem (cause we sure do love to make them) God's plan will always be even more perfect, we just have to trust him.  

I suppose that's what God is trying to tell me as well.  As perfect as my plan was for Jess, His plan is still more perfect.  She has been so patient, so faithful and so eager all at the same time.  Her heart was left in Georgia and God has plans to finish what he started and He needs her there.  It might ruin my plans of jumping in the car and rushing up to Aunt Caca's for the weekend, but then again, there are more important things than my plans...

Thanks, God, for the reminder.

Hopefully we will still have another special weekend or two with Aunt Caca before she journeys south for more than just a winter, but if not we'll cherish these memories and look forward to getting hot and sticky in the 'ol south.  Heck, maybe they have some peach picking adventures that are calling our name?  That sounds blog worthy...

So... here's the pics, J! Thank you, thank you, for spending part of your life in Tacoma.  Thank you for begging us to come visit with open arms and spoiling our children beyond belief!  You truly are a blessing. No matter where  you live!

Oh yes she did.  Kari jumped in her car with her two boys and we drove "the five" up to Tacoma on a whim, once again... 

(Yes, it's been done before)


Auntie Krista and baby Jude met us at the patch as well!

 Sisters!!! (Minus Hales):

 Caca and her babies. You can see why I don't want to share her...

Cutie pies!!!

So as I sit with tears streaming down my face, I can honestly say my heart is free of selfishness (for now at least). I am trusting that God's plan is even greater than mine. And if Georgia does become your family, that is one lucky family!

You'll always be our "Caca".

We love you!!!


  1. Aw.
    I know Jessica. And I live in GA. :) I am her GA church's pastors wife.
    I also have a sister...at a distance. And I relate to your heart poured out in this blog. What precious words.
    And you are right...we will be lucky to have her.
    She will miss you all. Her family is her heart.

  2. Well said Jules as my tears flow too! (But I still want to be selfishly mad at Georgia!) I am not convinced that they will be able to appreciate her enough for us?!

  3. This is so sweet. Sisterly love is unbeatable and indescribable. We love Jess very much and hope that we can appreciate and care for her in the way that she SO deserves. :) She is a bundle of God-given gifts wrapped up into one tender, loving soul.

  4. My favorite sister,
    Your words touch my heart. I'm sure you already know that. And yes, i cried too. I am so thankful for all of our memories made together - both past and present. No one can make me cry like you, No one can make me laugh like you, and you're right, NO ONE can make me as irritated as you. :) I love you so much and your approval and favor in my life means more than you'll ever know. Also, peach picking is DEFINITELY blog worthy! Can't wait to show you the South!

    Your favorite Sister.